The justice minister of the German state of Brandenberg has rejected opposition calls to resign over his covering up an arson attack at the site of the Ravensbruck concentration camp.
Hans Otto Braeutigam said last Friday that his department had displayed “lack of sensibility” but had not “failed morally” when it did not publicize last month’s arson at the former women’s camp in eastern Germany, near Berlin.
The attack, which caused minor damage, coincided with a visit to Germany of Queen Elizabeth of Britain. It is assumed that Braeutigam’s silence had to do with the monarch’s visit. The ministry acknowledged the attack had occurred only after it was reported in the media.
The Jewish community in Germany has termed Braeutigam’s silence an attempt at a cover-up, and the head of the community has called for police protection of all World War II memorials.
Ignaz Bubis said government action was needed in the wake of several desecrations of former concentration camps, including the cemetery at Dachau, the arson at Ravensbruck and the torching of a barracks and Jewish museum at Sachsenhausen.